Saturday, June 24, 2006

What About the Little Tots?

Some readers have asked about handicraft ideas for preschoolers.

Make large wooden bead necklaces with shoelaces. These can be remade over and over again.
Clay ornaments with cookie cutters
Sew burlap bags with large plastic needle and yarn
Make a felt bag with large needle, embroidery thread and whip stitch.
Make a key holder with nails, hook screws and board.
Paint clay pots and put a plant in them.
Carve soap with a butter knife

This does not mean that young children should never have opportunities to cut and glue and work with paper. These activities can be helpful. It’s the overabundance of this kind of work that is cautioned against. Also, I think we as parents may feel we need to structure everything for our children. My three year old is often given scissors and paper and crayons and he cuts to his heart’s content. There is often no resulting masterpiece and he doesn’t care. He just liked the process and he learned a little coordination as well. My point being that mom need not make a plan that must be followed. Let the little ones explore in their own way. It is not only okay, but beneficial to their development— not to mention mom’s sanity.

I think ample opportunities for natural play outside should be our primary concern for children under six years. Too much time spent on handicrafts often leads to frustration for little developing fingers. Legos and creative toys are useful but I try to save them for the winter months while taking advantage of warm weather as much as possible. Charlotte Mason recommended at least four hours a day of outside play during the summer. In watching my own children’s development, I see the wisdom in this advice.

1 comment:

  1. previous commentors3.1.07

    June 24, 2006 - outdoor play

    Posted by kateyz

    Again, I agree with you and charlotte mason. Children should be outdoors playing four hours a day. We are fortunate enough to live in a mild winter area, so quite often mine are out four hours a day year round!! I'm really enjoying your posts and find your blog to be quite informative!

    June 24, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by carrotqueen

    Thanks, those look fun! Now maybe next you can address how to be outside four hours a day and still get in baby's naps, laundry and dishes. :-) Plus for me summer heat is as objectionable as winter cold, but we do take full advantage of spring and fall.

    It should be better once they're a little older and can be a little less supervised, plus we're getting our own yard in another month.

    June 25, 2006 - Very good ideas (0:

    Posted by Canadagirl

    I love CM pratical but very creative ideas. Clay work is real good too.
    In Him,